Small Schools Newsletter - December 2017
Since 2012, teachers, principals, parents and supporters of public education have worked hard as part of the campaign for equitable, needs-based schools funding. This campaign has been specifically focused on small schools through the various equity loadings that are factored in to the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) upon which the Gonski model was based. In particular, the school-size equity loading prioritised the need to provide additional funding to primary schools with fewer than 200 students. Combined with the fact many small schools are located in isolated areas with a significant proportion of students from low socio-economic status (SES) and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds (with each factor subject to an additional equity loading), this model is of critical importance to address the learning needs of students in these settings.
After a tumultuous year in politics during which the original Gonski funding agreements were terminated by the Turnbull Government, the campaign for equitable schools funding continues and needs the ongoing support of members in small schools.
In May 2017, the Turnbull Government announced its deceitful “Gonski 2.0” plan that, despite increasing federal schools funding by $23 billion over 10 years, delivers only about half of what was due to be allocated under the full Gonski model.
The Turnbull Government has stripped away the future funding necessary for public schools to reach the minimum SRS upon which the Gonski model was based. It also strips future funding from the equity loadings that support students in small schools who need additional support, such as the loading for school size. Most small schools will now never reach the SRS.
The next stage in the campaign is to ensure that teachers and community members understand exactly what funding our schools will be denied under the Turnbull Government legislation, and why the campaign for genuine needs-based funding must continue.
We need members in every small school across the state to engage with their school and community to ensure this message is understood, and lay the groundwork for future campaign action to secure genuine, needs-based funding.
To facilitate this effort, Federation has prepared a presentation resource kit, which you will find at the link below. The pack includes:
- a video introduction from President Maurie Mulheron
- a PowerPoint presentation and speaker notes
- funding data to show the negative effect of the Turnbull Government’s funding plan in your local school community
Presentation resource pack: http://bit.ly/SRSresources.
We ask small school principals, in particular, to seek opportunities at a P&C meeting and at meetings of any other appropriate local community group, to deliver this presentation and get the message out to build active support for the campaign.